The recruitment market today, tomorrow and into 2020

As recruitment professionals, SteppingStones personnel deals directly with clients on a daily basis regarding their current and upcoming recruitment needs. Through this interaction, it has developed an intimate knowledge of the employment market and anticipated future trends on island. When considering recruitment in the Cayman Islands, it has to be aware of global recruitment trends, as these will often be reflected in and/or influence the local market.  

In developed economies, research shows that many companies have been able to retain their top performers during the recent downturn, however, as the market improves and more employment opportunities present themselves, it is expected to be increasingly difficult for employers to retain their key employees.  

According to Douglas Matthews, president and chief operating officer of Right Management (part of the Manpower Group and the world’s largest talent and career management consulting firm), “several trends are expected to make the mission of planning and optimising talent even more challenging this year.”  

Talent will begin to look elsewhere for opportunities. In a recent poll of 1,400 workers, 84 per cent plan to look for a new job in 2011.  

Competitors will make direct contact with more top performers. In another survey of over 3,000 individuals it was found that many have already been approached by another company to discuss a job opportunity. 

More employees will work virtually. Three out of four employers polled in recent study already have people who work remotely and of those, nearly half expect their numbers to increase during the year ahead.  

Hiring may revive, but it will be harder to get the right people. Manpower’s Employment Outlook Survey for the second quarter of 2011 reports that 16 per cent of employers plan to hire staff.  

In the UK, the latest CIPD/KPMG Labour Market Outlook reveals that there has been a slight improvement in employment prospects during the current quarter. In fact, nearly two-thirds of organisations are planning to recruit employees. Change is also predicted in the US. “During the recession most executives were churning their business and talent strategies into survival mode, not success mode. This has to change or corporate growth and innovation will be severely challenged,” said Jeff Schwarz, a principal in the Human Capital Practice of Deloitte Consulting in New York.  

The future holds many uncertainties; however, what does seem certain is that over the next decade employers will face tougher competition in attracting and retaining new talent and skills. There are forces at work that will fundamentally change what we do, where we do it, how we work and with whom. These changes will be driven by a number of forces, the three most pressing of which are technology, globalisation and demographics. 

Over the next 10 years, the cost of technology will continue to fall and it will transform our ability to communicate with each other. The speed of change is phenomenal and this trend only seems set to continue. Within the course of the last decade alone the following key trends were observed: Employees use multifunctional, wireless technology to do their jobs from virtually anywhere; computers are smaller, faster, lighter, more powerful and functional; there have been major advances in voice recognition, wireless technology and real time video conferencing; and smart phones are used to store massive amounts of information and are routinely used to access the Internet. 

Further innovations such as “the cloud” will create a global infrastructure which will allow anyone with a computer or handheld device to rent services on a minute-by-minute basis. 

Globalisation is shrinking the world by making knowledge transfer and the movement of labour easier. With an expected joint population of 2.8 billion in 2020, India and China are rapidly becoming the key to the talent pools of the world. 

Changing demographics will continue to shape and define the workforce. In the UK today, there are 6.6 million graduate workers, by 2020 this figure is expected to rise to 9.1 million. As a consequence of the recession, it is anticipated that the workforce in 2020 will be older as people stay in work longer to recover their lost savings. These changes, amongst many others, will present numerous opportunities to employers who will be able to use the power of low cost technology and link into global communities to create value that has never been possible before. Never before has so much choice been given. The challenge is to use these choices wisely.